- Becker Group Research Group
D.PHIL. CANDIDATE IN MOLECULAR NEUROSCIENCE
I joined the OXION D.Phil. programme in 2014 after completing my B.Sc. in Biochemistry at the University of Bristol, having also spent a year working for GlaxoSmithKline in their pre-clinical safety and bioelectronics departments. My D.Phil. research, co-supervised by Esther Becker (DPAG) and Elena Seiradake (Biochemistry), aims to describe molecular mechanisms underlying neurodevelopment and disease in the cerebellum.
In particular, my research is focused on Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) – a group of developmental disorders defined by social and behavioural problems, alongside difficulties with communication.
Recent imaging experiments and clinical observations have implicated the cerebellum in ASD; however, the molecular basis of the cerebellar contribution to ASD pathogenesis remains unknown. To help address this, I am using biochemical, imaging, and structural techniques to characterise the molecular functions of specific autism-implicated genes in the developing cerebellum. Being able to appreciate the roles these genes play may help us understand the aetiology of ASD, which could in turn aid the rational design of future treatments.